R|T: The Retail Times – Exclusive: Ex-Lightspeed CEO nabs Inovia gig

Former Lightspeed Commerce leader JP Chauvet.
Plus: Costco building an ad business with customer data.

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After over a decade at Lightspeed, JP Chauvet aims to be “good sounding board” as Inovia’s newest executive-in-residence

Ex-Lightspeed Commerce leader Jean Paul Chauvet has joined Montréal-headquartered venture capital firm Inovia Capital as its newest executive-in-residence.

During his more than 11 years at the commerce technology company, Chauvet played a key role in scaling Montréal-based Lightspeed into a global, publicly traded player. He joins Inovia months after stepping down as Lightspeed CEO, following two years at the helm attempting to guide the fast-growing firm to profitability amid a challenging tech market.

In an exclusive interview with BetaKit—his first since being replaced as CEO by his predecessor, Lightspeed founder Dax Dasilva—Chauvet said he wanted to take some time off from operations to rest, reset, and consider his next move. Inovia offered a “natural fit” and a chance to share his knowledge with other Canadian tech firms.


Costco is building out an ad business using its shoppers’ data

Costco is building out an ad network built on its trove of loyalty membership data, using its 74.5 million household members’ shopping habits and past purchases to power targeted advertising on and off its website.

The wholesale retailer is still testing such capabilities, and it’s fielding offers from potential ad-tech vendors, but the move signals that the third-largest retailer in the US could become a formidable player in the already deeply fragmented retail media space.

“Not only will we help you reach a Costco member, we will help you reach the right members in the right context based on past behavior,” Mark Williamson, AVP of retail media at Costco, told Marketing Brew.


Tiny appoints WeCommerce head Jordan Taub as its new CEO

Victoria, BC-based holding company Tiny has appointed Jordan Taub, the head of its e-commerce software platform WeCommerce, as its newest CEO.

Tiny says co-founders Andrew Wilkinson and Chris Sparling, who were acting as the firm’s co-CEOs, will “remain actively involved” as chairman and vice-chair, respectively, and work closely with Taub on capital allocation and operational execution.

Since 2007, Tiny has been known for starting, buying, and investing in Internet-based businesses, particularly in the e-commerce space.


Amazon slammed with £1.1-billion data abuse lawsuit from UK retailers

E-commerce behemoth Amazon recently reached a wide-ranging settlement with the U.K. competition watchdog over how it uses Marketplace sellers’ data, with commitments to more transparent and fair practices going forward. But Amazon is not out of hot water over these issues just yet.

On Thursday, the British Independent Retailers Association, which has thousands of members, said it is filing a damages claim against Amazon valued at £1.1 billion ($1.3 billion at today’s rates) alleging that Amazon has illegally misused members’ proprietary data for competitive purposes.


Shopify shareholders approve company’s compensation plan for executives

Shopify shareholders have approved the e-commerce giant’s compensation plan for executives.

Prominent proxy advisers Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis recommended shareholders vote against the plan, which could see the company hand out millions in salaries and share- and option-based awards to its top executives.

Just shy of 78 percent of Shopify shareholders voted in favour of its executive compensation plan last year, down from the prior five years, when support averaged 94 percent.

(The Globe and Mail)

Shopify acquires popular no-code checkout customizer Checkout Blocks

Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify has acquired Checkout Blocks, a no-code checkout customizer and one of the most popular apps on its app store, for an undisclosed amount.

Checkout Blocks founder and solo developer Gil Greenberg announced the acquisition this week, adding that the app’s starter plan, which was $99 per month, is now free for all merchants on Shopify Plus.


Ticketmaster hack: Canadians’ data likely among leaked information

The personal information of Canadian Ticketmaster customers appears to have been stolen by hackers, according to a sample of the data shared with Global News.

The data—shared with Global News by an expert who has been granted anonymity for fear of criminal prosecution—amounts to just 37.5 megabytes, and appears to include the personal information of tens of thousands of people, including full names, phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, partial credit card details and transaction details.

(Global News)

Online fashion giant Shein to file prospectus for £50bn London float

Shein, the online fashion behemoth, is on the verge of taking a huge stride towards a London flotation that would value it at about £50bn and rank among the most significant – and contentious – deals in the UK’s capital markets for years.

Sky News can exclusively reveal that Shein, which was founded in China but is headquartered in Singapore, is preparing to file a prospectus with the Financial Conduct Authority for approval ahead of its potential float.

The milestone in the listing process would be the clearest sign so far that Shein, which owns the British fashion brand Missguided, is to become London’s most high-profile public float for more than a decade.

(Sky News)

MaRS makes layoffs as part of business model “resetting”

MaRS Discovery District has made reductions to its staff as the Toronto innovation hub looks to get back to its “original vision,” BetaKit has learned.

Multiple sources indicated to BetaKit that the hub made a staff reduction this week. Alison Nankivell, CEO of MaRS, confirmed the layoffs with BetaKit, stating the hub is examining how its spaces, programs, and community can “propel Canadian innovation in a shifting global context.”

Sources who spoke with BetaKit under condition of anonymity indicated that at least 20 roles were cut, including MaRS’s chief delivery officer Krista Jones.


Amazon’s Project PI AI looks for product defects before they ship

Amazon’s Project PI, or “Private Investigator,” setup combines generative AI and computer vision to “see” damage on products or determine if they are the wrong color or size before the item gets sent to customers.

The way it works is that products on their way to customers go through a tunnel that scans the items. The computer vision program—a type of AI that looks at images and understands what’s in them—checks to see if there is damage. If it finds something, that item is isolated, while the system evaluates the defect and determines if there’s an issue with similar items to track down the root cause.

(The Verge)

Feds resume SDTC funding under NRC following damning AG report

The federal government has resumed funding for Sustainable Development Technology Canada as it prepares to bring the embattled cleantech agency under the National Research Council of Canada in the coming months.

The restoration of funding is being announced amid the release of a damning report by Canada’s Auditor General Karen Hogan, which found “significant lapses” in SDTC’s governance and management of public money. The federal government has also appointed new positions to lead the agency through the upcoming transition.


Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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